In late October, the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association presented a brief to federal members of parliament in Ottawa. Edward Landgraf, executive director, and Thomas Schuck, vice-president, met with many MPs and discussed the imbalance of government funding in favour of pro-abortion organizations. Below are the main points covered in the brief.
Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association represents some 20,000 members of all denominations in 32 groups throughout Saskatchewan. We address the problem of teen sexuality and pregnancy through our educational programme taught by five teachers working in the public school system. We also speak for the unborn on the abortion issue.
At this time, we have two main concerns with your Government. They are the ruling of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that requires television stations to provide free time to pro-abortion groups if they sell time to us; and the funding provided by the Federal Government to organizations that advocate the pro-abortion viewpoint, without providing any funding whatsoever to pro-life/pro-family organizations, despite our strong grass roots support.
The CRTC and the Minister of Communications
SPLA and the Evangelical Ministerial Association of Saskatoon each paid over $8,000 for the televising of a one-hour programme on stations in Regina, Saskatoon and Yorkton during 1983.
The CRTC ruled that since the programming advocated only the pro-life side of the abortion issue, the stations were obliged to balance the programme by providing one hour of free time of programming advocating the pro-abortion position. This same ruling has been repeated across Canada. Ironically, the stations use National Film Board productions for the pro-abortion viewpoint.
Stations are now refusing to sell their time to us, as they believe that they would be required to provide free time to the pro-abortion viewpoint. The Minister of Communications denies that stations are required to provide free time.
Federal funding to non-government groups
For several years now, our organization has been conscious of the fact that the largest financial backers of the pro-abortion cause, has been the Federal Government through the non-government organizations it finances. It is difficult to understand why the Government wishes to continue to finance large collections of left-wing organizations if your Government does not share in and wish to promote their philosophy. If the present Government does not want to be seen as a pro-abortion Government we request that funding be discontinued to those organizations which have a pro-abortion position. Alternatively, all present funding should be divided equally between pro-life and pro-abortion groups. Pro-life people have educational programmes and distress centers which have proved their worth and are worthy of public support. A truly pro-family government would support only the latter. As a further alternative, we believe that government should never finance more than 50 per cent of any private organization. Before any public funding is provided, private organizations ought to prove their public support by providing at least half of their own financing from private sources. Indeed, any organization that receives more than 50 per cent of its funding from our Government can hardly be called a non-government organization.
The following is a list of those departments funding the pro-abortion cause. Most of the organizations listed below receive 95 per cent of their funding from Federal Government sources.
Secretary of State
- The National Action Committee for the status of Women (NAC) received $300,000 from the Department in 1984. This feminist organization has always advocated abortion on demand, and indeed, their President, Chivava Hosek, was one of the supporters at the so-called “Victory” rally in Toronto in support of Morgentaler and his abortuary. This organization would cease to exist if not propped up by your Government from which it receives 95 per cent of its funding.
- The Saskatchewan Association on Human Rights (SAHR) has frequently publicized abortion as a woman’s basic right. The association reiterated its position in a press release following a meeting with the Provincial Cabinet in November, 1984. Most of their funding comes from the Secretary of State.
- Your Government has recently given a grant of $15,000 to Planned Parenthood Newfoundland to write a booklet on teen sexuality. We object to the funding of Planned Parenthood because of their lack of commitment to Canadian family, Judeo-Christian values, and their pro-abortion stance.
- A special project grant was given to the Calgary Lesbian Mothers’ Defence Fund to set up a “lesbian/gay workshop collective.” The purpose of this workshop is to help the latter “become more effective and visible thereby increasing the number of people we will be reaching.” Another grant was given to the organization to organize a lesbian conference which took place last April in Calgary. Workshop topics included lesbian sexuality, lesbian health, lesbianism and feminism.
- Vancouver Status of Women was given a grant in the amount of $40,000 to publish pro-abortion magazine called Kinesis. Its March 1985 issue gave full coverage and support to the Calgary Lesbian Mothers’ Defence Fund, attacked R.E.A.L. Women, and requested its membership to write to the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister, supporting the refusal to fund R.E.A.L. Women.
- A $15,000 grant was given to the International Women’s Day in Ottawa, which promoted abortion and lesbianism. Both pro-life and R.E.A.L. Woman groups were denied participation in the programme.
- Mr. McLean failed to include in its 40-member delegation representing Canada at the United National Women’s Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, in July, any representation from any pro-life, pro-family women in Canada. The delegation opposed the American position that abortion had no place in family planning.
- Canadian Research Institute for Advancement of Women received $295,000 and is a feminist group which supports abortion on demand.
- National Association of Women and the Law received $100,000. Another feminist group in support of abortion on demand.
- Canadian Congress of Learning Opportunities for Women received $189,000. Yet another feminist group which supports abortion on demand.
To the best of our knowledge, this department has never funded any organization that has a pro-life philosophy. The organizations funded advocate a philosophy that is alien to most Canadians, while our organizations are left to finance the opposition privately. We believe your Government must decide whose philosophy you feel will lead to a better Canada and finance accordingly. We hope that your philosophy on this issue differs from that of the previous administration.
Department of Health and Welfare
This Department has funded Planned Parenthood of Canada for years. Planned Parenthood has long been a champion of abortion, and indeed, Planned Parenthood of America owns and operates one of the largest chains of abortion clinics in the United States. Their philosophy for solving teen pregnancy is to teach contraceptive use. Our teens have never had better access to contraceptive information, yet the teen pregnancy rate has never been higher. This would suggest the need for an alternative solution.
SPLA’s school programme for reducing teen pregnancy reaches responsible sexuality by encouraging youths to save sexual intimacy for marriage. This programme has always been refused funding by the Federal Government.
The Department of External Affairs
Funding for the International Planned Parenthood Federation goes through this department. The United States has refused further funding to this organization because of its pro-abortion policies. Canada’s funding through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) are reported in Year End Review 1983, has been as follows: 1980/81 $3.6 million; 1983 $4.2 million; 1983 $5.4 million.
The Department of Communications
This department funds Studio D, a special section of the National Film Board. Its objective is to provide a forum for women film-makers to bring a woman’s perspective to film production Studio D produced the pro-abortion film, Abortion Stories from North and South, which gives a one-sided biased perspective on abortion. The film Morgentaler: Democracy on Trial, was also produced by the National Film Board at taxpayers expense.
Department of Employment and Immigration
A Local Employment Assistance Programme grant was given to a feminist magazine, published in Winnipeg, called HERizons, which the Manitoba Association of School Trustees has requested be removed from the Province’s list of appropriate reading material for high schools, because of its lesbian, anti-male and biased pro-abortion views. This magazine was recently withdrawn from the Winnipeg Division of Canadian Safeway, which had placed the magazine on its shelves.
Unfortunately, our main enemy has become our own Federal Government. The CRTC has stopped us from using the television medium. Yet because your Government champions pro-abortion organizations, these organizations have obtained respectability they do not deserve. This respectability results in giving their philosophy frequent media coverage (including a national televised debate during the last election). While they receive free coverage, the Federal CRTC ruling has prevented us from even buying our television time.
We would like our Federal Government to take the following action:
- A letter and a ruling from the Minister of Communications overturning the CRTC ruling that stopped our programming in Saskatchewan.
- An end to the financing of non-government organizations that advocate the pro-abortion philosophy. Alternatively, Federal funding to pro-abortion organizations should be limited to 50 per cent of their budgets.
- Funding for our own educational programme.